May 28 - June 1, 2012

Medical Myths & the Future of Health Care
"The People's Pharmacy"
Dr. Bill Roper is one of the country's leading health care experts. We talk with him about the state of health care in this country. Dr. Roper discusses medical myths and why they matter. He describes how our health care system could be greatly improved. What is the ideal health care system for the U.S.? ...He is currently dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for Medical Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is also CEO of the UNC Health Care System.

Parents Share Advice for the Constipated Child (Blog)
The New York Times
...Dr. Steven Lichtman, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, told me that timing is everything when you’re trying to retrain a kid who has lost the urge to poop to feel it again. Have them sit after they eat, he advised, cautioning not to let distractions get in the way.

Many Livers 'Too Fat' For Transplant
Increases in factors associated with fatty liver disease may be leading clinicians to discard more donated organs, researcher found. In an analysis of data from the United Organ Sharing Network (UNOS), age, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension were associated with an increased risk of a liver being discarded, Dr. Eric Orman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues reported during a press briefing at Digestive Disease Week here.

Exceptional Children Program Highlights Services For Autism Disorders
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ Exceptional Children (EC) program caters to more than 1000 students with educational disabilities, but it’s not the only source of support for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. ...She also works closely with UNC-Chapel Hill’s TEACCH, an internationally acknowledged autism program. DeTrude sends teachers to TEACCH training sessions and writes letters of support for various UNC researchers who are trying to obtain funding for their studies.

Raleigh audiology clinic adjusts hearing aids to fit each patient’s pitch
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Stephanie Sjoblad, an audiologist who is an associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Speech and Hearing, is enthusiastic about the ACAM 5’s potential. “If people who are providing hearing health care were utilizing this to customize the fitting process of each person they work with, there would be happier patients and more people utilizing hearing technology to solve their hearing loss,” said Sjoblad, who is also president-elect of the state chapter of the American Academy of Audiology.

Efforts mount to cut improper use of antipsychotics for seniors
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...That’s often the case with off-label drugs, said Dr. Laura Hanson, professor of geriatric medicine and Co-director of the Palliative Care Program at UNC Hospitals “From research trials, it is not clear that they are effective,” Hanson said. “They do not make patients easier to deal with.”

Higher prices from providers drive health care cost increases
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...The report from the Health Care Cost Institute is the biggest study to date of privately insured patients. The study examined 3 billion health care claims from 33 million people insured by Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare during 2009 and 2010. ...The series found that hospitals raise their charges each year: Duke Hospital by 6 percent each year, UNC Hospitals by 5 percent. The hospitals are seldom paid the full charges because insurance companies negotiate discounts.

Sharpless honored
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Norman “Ned” Sharpless, associate director for translational research at UNC Chapel Hill’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been appointed the Wellcome Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research. The professorship was established by the School of Medicine in 1988 with gifts from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the William A. Smith Trust.

BCBSNC names trustee to board
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has announced that Dr. Lisa Carey has been named to the insurer’s board of trustees. Carey is the medical director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Breast Center and is the associate director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Proposed psychiatric hospital in Wake years away
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Relief may be on the way. UNC Health Care’s proposal, announced last week, to build a 28-bed psychiatric hospital in Wake County is designed to address the problem of mentally ill patients who are crowding emergency rooms and hospital wards throughout Wake County and the region. “They will stay in the emergency department for hours and days,” said Jack Naftel, vice-chair of clinical affairs in the psychiatry department at UNC-Chapel Hill. “Just imagine someone with a heart attack waiting days to get upstairs for a bed.”

Mental Health and Children
"The State of Things" WUNC-FM
More than 13 million American children and teenagers suffer from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, hyperactivity and other mental illnesses. The naturally irrational, impulsive or volatile behavior kids exhibit every day makes it tough to accurately diagnose them and medicating minors is a controversial practice, particularly when the study of child mental health is considered under researched. Host Frank Stasio discusses the challenge of diagnosing psychiatric disorders in children and the options for treating mentally ill youth with ...Dr. James Jenson, a behavioral therapist and professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine...

HIV hides soon after infection, UNC research shows
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
While current therapies are effective at controlling HIV, some virus remains hidden in certain CD4+ T cells, specialized immune system cells that the virus uses to replicate. This latent infection remains a significant challenge to curing HIV, a recent study by UNC researchers has found. A team led by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine has demonstrated that latency develops soon after infection and slows when antiretroviral therapy is given.

Pharmacists capable of providing safe, timely immunizations (Opinion-Editorial Column)
The Charlotte Observer
From Dr. David Weber, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology, Associate Chief of Staff, UNC Health Care Medical Director, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Vaccines are the safest, cheapest and most effective method to curb the spread of communicable disease and maintain our communities’ health. Yet, many persons go without CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)/ACIP (Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices) recommended vaccines, jeopardizing the health of their friends and neighbors, and the productivity or our economy.

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